The family often receives weird stares and rude questions from strangers who are unable to wrap their heads around the idea of a white child being raised by a Black mother.
Keia Jones-Baldwin had no idea she'd be changing diapers again. The North Carolina-based therapist and her husband, Richardo Baldwin, already had two beautiful teen daughters and an 8-year-old son, and although they had plans to adopt again, they were only considering older kids. However, life had other plans for the loving couple and brought a baby boy named Princeton into their lives when they were least expecting it. Born to a drug-addicted mother in July 2017, he weighed only a pound at the time of birth and was in need of some extra love and care.
"My foster care supervisor called and said, 'Is there any way you can go to the hospital and do skin-to-skin with a baby?'" Jones-Baldwin told TODAY Parents. The 36-year-old immediately grabbed her car keys and drove over to the hospital. "I bonded with him so quickly," she revealed. "I started going there every day."
When it came time for Princeton to finally leave the NICU, the Jones-Baldwins welcomed him into their home and lives with open arms. Big sisters Zariyah, 15, and Karleigh, 16, and their 8-year-old brother Ayden were instantly smitten by their new sibling.
Although he was only supposed to stay with them for three months, his new family could not bear to part with him and they decided to officially adopt him. However, being a Black couple raising a white boy, they soon became targets of weird stares and rude questions from strangers. "We get a lot of stares," Jones-Baldwin revealed.
"I'm frequently asked if I'm Princeton's babysitter... I get, 'Why didn't you let him stay with a family of his own race?'" Twice they've had people calling the cops on them and reporting a kidnapping. "We were vacationing in Tennessee and we went to do an old-time, Western photo shoot," the mother-of-four explained.
"The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back. Finally, she asked, ‘Is that your baby?’ I told her he was. Then she said, 'I just took picture of this baby with his family two weeks ago," she recounted. When authorities arrived at the scene moments later, she had to show a letter proving that the baby was in her custody and that she had permission to travel with him. The memory of this particular incident had barely faded when in August last year, a man called the police to report a kidnapping again.
Jones-Baldwin pulled over outside a man's house because she had a flat tire and "knocked on his door to explain why I was on his grass." She revealed that the man called the police and accused her of stealing the car and the child.
Despite these incidents, she is focused on making the most of her life with all four of her children. She hopes to break down racial barriers through her Facebook page Raising Cultures where she proudly shows off videos and photos of her blended, multiracial family. "I don’t look at family as blood. I look at family as love," she said. "When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all."